Auction clearance rates have slipped across Australia as economic uncertainty increases off the back of the global health crisis.
Of the 1900-plus homes scheduled for auction nationally on Saturday, 69.6 per cent sold under auction conditions, according to Domain’s preliminary clearance rate. That’s down from a preliminary rate of 75.4 per cent the previous Saturday.
While property buyers were still out in strong numbers – in spite of growing concerns around COVID-19 – their spending took a dip, with the median auction house price dropping to $1.07 million, from $1.12 million the previous two weeks. Units sold for a median of $729,000.
More than 1900 homes were scheduled for auction across Australia on Saturday. Photo: Stephen McKenzie
Of course, what buyers actually nabbed for that national median price varied greatly across the capital cities. Here’s what the national median bought auction buyers over the weekend.
Selling bang on the auction house median was a three-bedroom semi-detached home in Hawthorn East – about seven kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD.
The tightly held home on was one of 1090 Melbourne properties scheduled for auction on Saturday. The 261-square-metre property sold for $1.07 million – well above Melbourne’s own house median of $990,000.
Several suburbs away in Blackburn South, a three-bedroom house on 314 square metres sold under the hammer for $1.053 million.
“On Friday there was a lot of news about coronavirus,” said selling agent Casey Wang of Barry Plant Blackburn. “What surprised me on Saturday morning was that we didn’t have a crowd there, but our main buyers were all there and very determined to bid.”
Two first-home buyers, a downsizer and an investor competed for the home, pushing the price $108,000 above reserve. It sold to the investor for well above the $572,000 that records show it last sold for in 2007.
“It was not a big auction, but we got a huge price,” Ms Wang said. “We are still short on stock on the market, so if [house hunters] find something they will be there.
“A lot of people sold a few months ago and they’re still looking to buy, especially downsizers … and property like this is really in high demand.”
For apartments, spending a little over the national median secured the keys to a two-bedroom Prahran unit.
The apartment spanning 90 square metres sold for $735,000. Records show it last sold for $270,000 in 2014.
In Sydney, which had almost 650 scheduled auctions, houses which sold for a little under the $1.07 million national median were further afield.
In Blacktown, more than 30 kilometres west of the CBD, a five-bedroom house sold for $1.055 million – a street record.
Also in Sydney’s west, a four-bedroom house in Berala sold at auction for $1.065 million, while in Merrylands a three-bedroom house sold for $1,047,500.
A dozen registered bidders turned out for the Merrylands property, which sold to a couple relocating from Brisbane. Selling agent Daniel Starr of Starr Partners Merrylands said they were among a growing number of house hunters looking to the suburb, after being priced out of neighbouring Parramatta.
“It offers good value in comparison to Parramatta … so it’s gaining a bit of popularity,” Mr Starr said.
He noted there was still strong buyer demand in the area, with his office selling all three properties they had scheduled for auction.
In the harbour city’s apartment market, the national median unit price was enough to secure a ground-floor two-bedroom apartment, in the city’s inner west. The Ashfield unit, spanning 76.6 square metres, sold for $723,000.
Funds went a lot further in Brisbane, which had 75 scheduled auctions on Saturday – only one of which was for a unit, which was passed in.
A large family home on an impressive 1250-square-metre block sold for $970,000 – $100,000 below the national house median.
Eight bidders registered to compete for the four-bedroom, three-bathroom Kenmore Hills property, which was last sold for $560,000 in 2006. The suburb is about 10 kilometres south west of the city centre.
“That’s strong for the Brisbane market and what’s going on in [the wider economy],” said selling agent Craig Sharp of Ray White Metro West, who showed more than 80 groups through the home.
“It was very spirited [auction], there was a lot of people vying for it … it displayed a lot of confidence in the market.”
While hand-shaking has stopped because of coronavirus, Mr Sharp said the rest was business as usual – for now. He noted homes up to $1 million were easy to sell, but buyers became more picky above that price point.
Two weeks prior a renovated Queenslander in Bardon, about five kilometres north-west of the CBD, sold for $1.091 million. The three-bathroom, three-bathroom house, with three car spaces, last sold for $975,000 in 2016.
Among 52 properties scheduled for auction in Canberra on Saturday was a three-bedroom house in the affluent suburb of O’Connor.
The home on 740 square metres last sold for $451,000 in 2005. On Saturday it sold for $1.111 million – making it the closest result to the national median.
Also among the homes sold was a two-bedroom semi in the inner-suburb of Deakin, which was snapped up for $905,000. The 630-square-metre property last sold for $600,000 in 2011.
Coming in about $30,000 above the median was a historic home with a modern renovation – and two cellars.
The house in Thebarton, just north-west of the city centre, sold for $1.1 million. Built in the 1900s, the three-bedroom house was given a modern renovation and extension in 2015. It last sold for $448,000 in 2013 and sits on a 613-square-metre block.
It was one of 62 properties scheduled to go to auction in Adelaide, which recorded a median sale price of $772,500 on Saturday, according to Domain figures.